Oh, Sarah

No foreigners here

Sarah Grainger of the BBC does her best to ask the question: why don’t more tourists come to Venezuela?

However, she falls far short, mostly due to her own unforced errors.

For example, she wonders,

“Venezuela, which has one of the highest murder rates in Latin America, has certainly struggled with its reputation for violence.

But other countries have proved that a bad reputation can be overcome and even turned into an advantage.

Colombia, which suffered international headlines about guerrilla conflict and cocaine trafficking, did just that when it came up with its latest tourism campaign.

“The only risk is wanting to stay,” said the tagline on the advertisements, making an oblique reference to the worries that tourists might have about visiting a country where foreigners had been kidnapped in the past.

This daring way to sell Colombia became a story in itself, garnering plenty of extra publicity overseas for its tourism attractions.”

Um. The real struggle is against violence. It’s not a PR problem, it’s a violence problem. The reason the Colombia campaign was succesful wasn’t just that it was good PR, it was because … significant parts of Colombia became less violent!

Furthermore, Grainger doesn’t even mention the hassles one has to go through to pay with credit cards and the incredible burdens it puts on travelers.

Anyway, read the whole thing and judge for yourselves.

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